There is one month of the year in which reality TV really rules the airways. January is a rich tapestry of tears, tantrums and triumphs, as we wave goodbye to the likes of Strictly, The X Factor and The Apprentice, and usher in a new year of reality gems
Dancing On Ice, Ibiza Weekender, Celebrity Big Brother and more
And there really is something for everyone. If you like watching people falling over, there is Dancing On Ice. If you like to watch people falling on top of each other, there is Ibiza Weekender. If you like watching people falling in love, try The Undateables and First Dates Hotel. And if you like to watch people falling off their moral high horse, tune into Celebrity Big Brother.
Check out our guide to this month’s reality gems…
For stars in their ice(skates)
Watch Dancing On Ice, Sundays, 6pm, ITV/HD (CH 103/113). Then in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub
What’s better than watching celebrities take a tumble on the dancefloor à la Strictly? Watching celebrities taking tumbles at an ice skating rink, that’s what! After a four-year hiatus, the show is returning to our screens. The celebrities seeing if they have what it takes to impress on the ice include Corrie’s Brook Vincent, Bucks Fizz’s Cheryl Baker, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, The Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown, Scottish rugby player Max Evans, TV personality Donna Air and singer Lemar. Torvill and Dean have swapped their coaching roles for the judges' seats, with Diversity’s Ashley Banjo also joining the judging panel.
For some red-hot shenanigans…
Watch Ibiza Weekender, Sundays, 9pm, ITV2/HD (CH 115/176). Then Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub
If you STILL haven’t quite found that special thing to replace the Love Island-shaped hole in your life, you need to get involved with Ibiza Weekender. Back for its fourth series, it’s the unspoken hero of the reality TV world, following a summer with a gaggle of oiled-up holiday reps and their constant onslaught of guests raring to have what they will inevitably declare to be “the best weekend of their lives”, even if they don’t remember the majority of it.
It combines the romantic, sun-soaked rollercoasters of Love Island with our fascination with fly-on-the-walls about professions, like Inside The Ambulance and The Secret Life Of The Zoo, for utterly addictive viewing.
Loyal fans will be pleased to know that head rep David is back ruling the roost, along with veteran reps Jordan and Deano. And brilliant news for Love Island fans – Chyna will be donning a rep uniform as she heads to do some grafting on the White Isle.
For heart-warming true stories…
Watch The Undateables, Mondays, 9pm, Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141). Then in Catch Up > Channels > All 4
Back for an eighth series, we meet a whole host of singletons looking for love. These include rugby player Luke, who has Tourette’s syndrome, Sam, who has Asperger’s and is finding it hard to find his place in the gay scene, and Becky, who has scoliosis (a genetic condition that causes curvature of the spine). With amazing specialised dating agencies on hand to help, love should soon be in the air for many of these extraordinary singletons.
For some girl power…
Watch Celebrity Big Brother, available in Catch Up > Channels > Channel 5. Then tune in daily, 9pm, Channel 5/HD (CH 105/150)
This year, the CBB producers have shaken things up with an all-female household to mark 100 years since women won the right to vote. The housemates are: Former Made in Chelsea star Ashley James; ex Tory MP and Strictly Come Dancing star Ann Widdecombe; former Coronation Street and Carry On star, Amanda Barrie; the UK’s first transgender newsreader, India Willoughby; reality TV star Jess Impiazzi (Ex On The Beach); Malika Haqq (Hollywood Divas), who is great mates with Khloé Kardashian; journalist Rachel Johnson, sister of Boris, and Maggie Oliver, a former Greater Manchester Police detective who helped break up the Rochdale child grooming ring. Male celebrities, such as former Liverpool footballer John Barnes, are taking part too, but will go in throughout the series.
For a romantic winter holiday…
Watch First Dates Hotel, Mondays, 10pm, Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141). Then in Catch Up > Channels > All 4
Let’s all up sticks and go to Italy! Or if that’s not feasible, let’s all tune into First Dates Hotel and see what Fred and his team are up to. In this series there is a new set of Italian staff and some new unlucky-in-love men and women who are hoping a bit of Mediterranean heat will work wonders for their love life. In the first episode from the series, we’ve got single mum Kaylee who has put dating on hold to raise her children, model Jada, whose no-nonsense exterior masks a softer side, and 87-year-old exercise fanatic Bernard.
For a game of musical chairs…
Watch The Voice UK, available in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub. Then tune in Saturdays, 8pm, ITV/HD (CH 103/113)
Those magic red chairs are back, and this year they are filled by Sir Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Will.i.am and new judge Olly Murs. Emma Willis is also returning to host, as the hunt is on to find the greatest undiscovered singing talent in the UK. They’ll be heading up and down the country for the blind auditions, in which the hopefuls must rely on their vocal abilities only to impress. Will Jennifer Hudson make it two wins on the trot? There is only one way to find out…
Find even more reality TV favourites if you have a TiVo® box, or Virgin TV V6 Box, powered by TiVo® by going to Search & Discover on the home screen.
HD: HD TV required to view HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.
On Demand included with TV M+ and above. Content available to view depends on TV package. Time limits apply for viewing chargeable On Demand content – see virgimedia.com. Once purchased, all chargeable On Demand content must be viewed within 48 hours. Premium channels and upgrades must be kept for at least 30 days.
ITV HD is subject to regional variation. ITV HD is not available where STV HD or UTV HD is available.